We Fish . . .

Jay Nicholas Fishing

We fish
We fish because . . .
We fish

We fish with utmost diligence
A hundred casts
A thousand
Un-counted hours of dedication

We fish with hope on top of determination
Remembering a great grab in our past
Hoping for a great grab we’ve never experienced
Knowing it must
Hoping it will
Fearing . . . .

When our line tightens, finally
When we feel the pull, the weight, the head shake of a great salmon
We lean back
Pull hook point into bone

We stand our ground
Each of us pulling as hard as we dare
Hard as we can muster

The salmon draws into the darkness, the safety of the deep
We draw the salmon into the light, the danger of the shallows

Back and forth
Darkness and light
Back and forth

Each of us yielding only when we must
Each testing the other’s resolve

It’s not a fair contest, we know
But still, we wrestle with the salmon as if our life depended on the outcome

And finally, more often than not
Our prize lays in the shallows, on the beach, in the net

Time to decide

Kill the salmon
Release the salmon

This salmon is food, we think
This is a time-honored tradition

So much potential lies in the shallows where we kneel
Food for family – food for tribe
A glorious token of our skill

So much potential
Male or female, sacred genetic heritage
A chain of life reaching across ten thousand, years
Ten thousand generations

So much potential
Food for the river and all the river’s creatures
So many mouths to feed

So much potential
This salmon is the next generation of salmon

And now it’s time to choose

Time to choose

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